Very initial thoughts on today’s White House cybersecurity order

  • For full text, see our post.
  • Once again, the NIST Framework is key.
  • Each Agency has 90 days to provide a risk management report to the Secretary of Homeland Security and the Director of the OMB.
  • DHS, OMB, Commerce, General Services and the White House staff then have 60 days to submit to the President a plan to protect the “executive branch enterprise.”  Is that coordination or an ability to designate who is in charge?
  • For any national security system, the SecDEF and DNI replace DHS and OMB.
  • An even larger group has 180 days to provide a report on protecting critical infrastructure.
    • That group includes Secretary of DHS, Secretary of Defense, the Attorney General, the DNI, the Director of the FBI, “the heads of appropriate sector-specific agencies, … and all other appropriate agency heads.”
  • The order calls for “market transparency of cybersecurity risk management practices by critical infrastructure entities,” presumably so people can vote with their feet.  But, much critical infrastructure is either regulated monopolies or in the public sector.  So, consumer choice is minimal and demand will not be elastic based upon transparency of poor cybersecurity practices.  So, this may simply amount to public shaming as the enforcement mechanism.
  • A different large group of public agencies is to promote resilience against botnets and the like.
  • Energy, DHS, and ODNI have 90 days to report on securing the electric grid.
  • For the nation in general, “it is the policy of the executive branch to promote an open, interoperable, reliable, and secure internet that fosters efficiency, innovation, communication, and economic prosperity, while respecting privacy and guarding against disruption, fraud, and theft.”  Note that one side of the balance is only “disruption, fraud, and theft.”  There is no mention there of preventing terrorist communications or contraband such as child pornography.”
  • A report on deterring adversaries is required within 90 days.
  • A section entitled “International Cooperation” also calls for reports but gives no indication of whether the Administration still supports multi-stakeholderism or will shift to multi-literalism.
  • For better or worse, the order does not address investigative abilities and criminal enforcement.
  • The order takes a defense posture and does not promote, yet, offensive cybersecurity.

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Authors

Untitled Document
Professor William Snyder

Professor William C. Snyderis a member of the faculty of the Institute for National Security and Counter-terrorism at Syracuse University after fifteen years with the United States Department of Justice.

Ryan D. White

Ryan D. WhiteRyan is currently a third year law student at Syracuse University College of Law, and is also pursuing a Master of Public Administration degree from Syracuse’s Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs. Ryan spent time with Homeland Security Investigations while pursuing his undergraduate degree at Wesleyan University, and spent his first summer of law school as clerk for the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Western District of New York. He is a member of Syracuse Law Review, the Journal on Terrorism and Security Analysis, and participates in the Veteran’s Legal Clinic. Full biography

Shelby E. Mann

Ryan D. WhiteShelby is a second year law student at the Syracuse University College of Law. During her final year at the University of Missouri, she served as a full-time news producer for ABC 17 News. Shelby spent her first summer of law school at the Shelby County District Attorney General's Office in Memphis, Tenn., in the Public Corruption and Economic Crimes Unit. She is a member of Syracuse Law Review, the Journal on Terrorism and Security Analysis, and the senior editor for the Syrian Accountability Project. Full biography

Christopher w. FolkChristopher W. Folk

is a 2017 graduate of SU College of Law. A non-traditional student, Christopher returned to academia after spending nearly twenty years in the high tech industry. Christopher served in the Marine Corps, graduated from Cornell University with a B.S. In Applied Economics and Business Management, attended Northeastern University’s High-Tech MBA Program and received a M.S. In Computer Information Systems. Christopher previously worked in Software Engineering. Christopher is currently serving his second term as Town Justice for the Town of Waterloo. Christopher externed with a Cybersecurity firm in the Washington, D.C. area between his first and second year at SU College of Law. Full biography

Anna Maria Castillo

Anna Maria Castillois 2016 graduate of Syracuse College of Law. She also holds a Master of Arts in International Relations from Syracuse University's Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs. She has interned at a London-based think-tank that specializes in transnational terrorism and global security and at the legal department of a defense contractor. She served as an executive editor in the Syracuse Law Review. Full biography

Jennifer A. CamilloJennifer A. Camillo

is a 2015 graduate of Syracuse College of Law and is a prosecutor. She has served as a law clerk in the United States Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of New York and the Cayuga County District Attorney’s Office and as an extern in the Oneida County District Attorney’s Office. She was a member of the Syracuse National Trial Team and was awarded the Tiffany Cup by the New York Bar Association for her trial advocacy achievements.

Tara J. PistoreseTara J. Pistorese

holds Juris Doctor and Masters of Public Administration degrees from Syracuse University's Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs and its College of Law. She wrote for this blog when a student. She is now a member of the U.S. Army Judge Advocate General's Corps.

Benjamin Zaiser

is both a scholar and a Federal Agent of the Federal Criminal Police Office of Germany. (Opinions expressed here are his own and not any part of official duty.) Full biography

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